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Noem’s “Saturation Level” for Promoting Coronavirus Vaccines: Zero Tweets Per Month

Governor Kristi Noem says she isn’t saying much more about the coronavirus vaccine because she worries that if people hear too much from her, they’ll tune her out:

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she has no plans to ratchet up her messaging to urge people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, even as Republican leaders across the country try to persuade vaccine skeptics to roll up their sleeves and take the shots in response to a new, more contagious variant that has sent caseloads soaring in some areas.

The Republican governor told The Associated Press this week she believes her messaging has reached “a saturation level where people start to tune you out” [Stephen Groves, “South Dakota’s Noem Doesn’t Plan to Ratchet up Vaccine Push,” AP via KELO-TV, 2021.07.30].

This from a candidate who flew out of state to speak to CPAC twice this year and who used taxpayer dollars to build a private video studio in the Capitol to help her get on Fox News more easily.

Noem apparently feels her “saturation level” for comment on coronavirus vaccinations is zero tweets per month. On her gubernatorial Twitter in July, Noem issued 67 tweets on 30 topics (by my subjective categorization). Not one mentioned vaccines. Seven addressed the pandemic: three ridiculed the CDC, three cast doubt on the value of masks, and one attributed lower drug overdoses to her resistance to coronavirus prevention measures. If Noem’s fear of people tuning her out is sincere, she should really scale back that relative torrent of pandemic commentary.

Also apparently at risk of tune-outage are Noem’s views on border security (10 tweets in July), trapping (4), Korean War history (3), her family (3), prison personnel policy (3), military (3), abortion (2), tourism (2), sport (2), air travel in Pierre and Watertown (2), the budget surplus (2), Cuba (2), fireworks (2), Game Fish & Parks (1), critical race theory (1) the Americans with Disabilities Act (1), buffalo (1), David Lust (1), fuel shortage (1), police (1), business recruitment (1), rain (1), California (1), July 4 (1), medical marijuana (1), and voter suppression (1). Plus the public must be really tired of her incessant photo opps (7).

But not one tweet all July about coronavirus vaccines. Not one in June. The last mention of coronavirus vaccines from Governor Noem on her official Twitter channel was May 13, when she retweeted the AP’s report of the CDC’s guidance that fully vaccinated people could ditch masks indoors, which she used not to encourage vaccination but to simply falsely snark, “Glad the CDC are finally looking at the science.” Before that, on April 12, similar snark on Dr. Anthony Fauci and claiming credit for “efficient vaccination efforts.” That last tweet that sounds even remotely like encouragement for people to get their shots was on April 5, when Noem tweeted a picture of herself getting her first Pfizer shot (with her masked face turned away from the camera) and said, “Vaccinations are now available for all South Dakotans 16-and-older! I got my first dose of Pfizer vaccine today.”

It’s hard to tune out the Governor’s promotion of vaccines when we haven’t been able to pick up that signal since April and when she has drowned that faint ping out with so much other noise.

31 Comments

  1. mike from iowa 2021-08-03

    Maybe she should do as Tennessee’s cattle farming guv did, pay farmers to vaccinate cattle but not bother to incentivize humans to get a life saving vaccine for free.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/03/tennessee-covid-shots-vax-cows-502249

    Tennessee has one of the lower/lowest vaccination rates in the country because it is an embarrassingly red state like Northern Mississippi.

  2. Donald Pay 2021-08-03

    Great jounalistic work, Cory. You have quantified what most of us have suspected all along. Noem is NOT the Governor of South Dakota. She’s a wannabee political pundit. But South Dakotans should look on the bright side of Noem’s failure of leadership. Noem, if she actually turned to issues that matter to South Dakotans, would provide bad information and bad advise. You’re probably better off that she ignores her duties.

  3. sx123 2021-08-03

    Never once heard her promoting getting vaxxed.

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-08-03

    She also said, “the CDC shifts its position AGAIN. If your worried about the virus, your free to get vaccinated, wear a mask, or stay at home. But we won’t be mandating anything. And the CDC’s inconsistency doesn’t help the American people.” It’s hard to find any inconsistency in her stupidity. The CDC follows the facts, they were forced basically by all the anti vaxxers who are trumpies, to issue new guidelines with the specific intent to help the American people. She doesn’t care about who died, after all it’s just over a couple thousand people under her watch and she has a campaign to run. Just make sure your vaccinated folks you can’t worry about the ignorant.

  5. jerry 2021-08-03

    NOem says they should quit and find another job in the “booming economy” I agree. If they don’t like Sanford guidelines, then quit and do something else. Why should their whining be news? .

  6. Charles Moeller 2021-08-03

    Her public misinformation about the way she and the state have handled the medical marihuana situation has certainly “tuned me out”. The “commercial” has been aired on prime time for more than a month. Last evening it was on “Jeopardy” twice, and “Wheel of Fortune” . Our money could be put to better use promoting vaccination.

    But she is probably getting the public exposure she desires!

  7. sx123 2021-08-03

    Haha Cory. I had to read her quote a couple times. The key part is “… and invite you to _CHOOSE_ to get…”
    She doesn’t invite or recommend actually getting a shot, but rather invites to _choose_ to get the shot. Wow. Full saturation level :-)

  8. ds 2021-08-03

    Governor Kristi Noem unhinged and harping about the CDC changing its masking recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus? Just like tomorrow’s weather forecast is subject to change for the worse, so we all do what we need to do to protect ourselves and family.
    Sanford should be commended for requiring health care workers to get the vaccine…And the Defense Dept should have required the vaccine for all branches on day one of availability!
    Us educated peoples do our part to protect the health of everyone while others
    spread off the wall BULL and encourage us to play Prussian roulette. Please consider moving to Florida or Texas or Louisiana where they have filled the ICU beds because they share your mentality….
    Just the facts, John..

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-08-03

    sx123, her comment is saturated with something, all right, and it ain’t clarity or concern for public health.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-08-03

    DS, you’d think people would have reached their saturation level with Noem’s anti-CDC, anti-science comments and tuned her out by now, but strangely, Noem keeps shouting that nonsense, and lots of people keep listening. Noem has a very selective view of how much messaging is too much.

  11. Porter Lansing 2021-08-03

    Governor Noem treats the pandemic crisis the same way she treats Cory Allen Heidelberger.

    Just ignore them and they’ll go away.

  12. Francis Schaffer 2021-08-03

    She is worried about people ‘tuning her out’. Someone please let her know; ‘that ship has sailed’. I think back to Spring 2020 when she made the public schools go to all remote learning. I thought, ‘Wow I did not see that coming from Governor Noem’. It did set my expectations really high for her future decisions. I realize now that her decision at that time was a – one off.

  13. Loren 2021-08-03

    Anyone who makes Sarah Palin look smart ought to be tuned out!

  14. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-03

    Well..I’ve never read one comment by the Governor regarding the over 2,000 South Dakotans who have died after exposure to Covid 19. They are expendable to advance her political positions. A tragic abdication of leadership.

  15. Willy 2021-08-03

    She’s not exactly marinating in the milk of human kindness.

  16. grudznick 2021-08-03

    Mr. Lansing said, humorously:

    Governor Noem treats the pandemic crisis the same way she treats Cory Allen Heidelberger.

    Just ignore them and they’ll go away.

    I had not noted that Ms. Noem was aware of Mr. H at all, however perhaps some part of that statement will come true to a certain extent.

  17. Donald Pay 2021-08-03

    I agree with Cory. Noem’s invitation to choose to get the shot can be read both ways, I suppose, but the fact that she’s said little or nothing since then is terrible leadership. This week she’s going to show up at the Sturgis rally, which should have been cancelled. It will be another superspreader event. Still, it could do some good if they do a bang up at a vaccination tent, which I hope they have. Noem should be serving as the carnival barker at that tent, and doing some good for a change. She should put on a skimpy outfit and give a free lap dance to whoever gets a vaccination.

  18. grudznick 2021-08-03

    Again, Mr. Pay, while I sure hate the motorcyclist mobs, what is it again that you fellows think Ms. Noem could do to “cancel” an event she doesn’t put on? You want her to ban people from gathering in a little town on the outskirts of the northern Hills? Like a soup nazi, she would just say “no soup for you!” and then restrict free people from going where they want.

    Do you same fellows blame Ms. Noem for the Rainbow Family gathering in the woods a few years back, too?

  19. Guy 2021-08-03

    Well, Cory, when Kristi’s tweeted nonstop about fireworks and herself all year long, she had to draw the line somewhere.

  20. Donald Pay 2021-08-03

    Grudz, I don’t support these large gatherings when they are superspreader events. I hate big crowds of folks anyway. The Rainbow folks ain’t my kind of people, either

    As far as cancelling the event, she has quite a lot of public health leeway, but she’s too incompetent to use it.

  21. grudznick 2021-08-03

    Tomorrow, perhaps Governor Noem will issue the dictate:

    “Nobody can visit the town of Sturgis, or drive a motor-cycle or tri-cycle-vehicle-for-fat-old-people within the boundaries of South Dakota.”

    Then, watch the libbies yowl. She might as well say “No Libbies Allowed in The Black Hills. I have ruled!”

  22. grudznick 2021-08-03

    Hey, there’s an idea!

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-08-04

    Guy, I wish everyone would decide that Kristi has reached their saturation point and tune out her Trump-blurty ratings about fireworks, CRT, and socialism and her rodeo pageantry.

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-08-04

    Grudz, you can’t win any argument by using a hypothetical to shove words into your opponents’ mouths. “Libbies” would not yowl if Noem shut down the Rally to prevent further spread of coronavirus. But I would settle for her recruiting one hundred nurses and camping out at Sturgis to promote a 24/7 vaccine clinic. Every time she gets on a Harley to lead some parade or steps on stage at Buffalo Chip, she should open and close her remarks by saying, “Get Your Shots!!!”

  25. Mark Anderson 2021-08-04

    Well Cory, the pubs are in a bind. Its their own base who is suffering right now. So those deemed RINOs are available to talk the facts on Covid vaccines and they are truly vaccines to keep their vote total from dying out. Those who are running for VP like Kristi will continue to get their own shots, talk freedom to choose, except for abortion of course, and actually dissuade people from masking or getting their own shots and forbidding any mandates. They all have to please the fearless leader you know and you have to look at DeSantis and Noem as Boris and Natasha. It’s a good fit.

  26. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-04

    Well…as a “geezer-boomer” myself, I can testify to the suspicion that the geezer-boomers in the legislature and the lobbyists who run them, are just trying to figure out how they can make some ready cash money off this medical marijuana thing. There’s money at stake now, and their job is to insure that it is funneled to the “right people”.

  27. grudznick 2021-08-04

    Mr. Blundt is righter than right.

  28. grudznick 2021-08-04

    That’s hilarious, Mr. Dale! Wouldn’t it be a hoot if they twisted the sessions especially for the carving up of the districts into a new referendum on toking the demon weed to “heal” people?

  29. Guy 2021-09-01

    It’s almost Labor Day and Noem’s still on fireworks?!? When is our Governor finally going to reach her “saturation level” in regards to this dead horse of an issue? The other blog said she’s still fighting for fireworks at Mount Rushmore almost 2 months after the Fourth of July. The money we waist on such a frivolous issue by Kristi Noem, who still lacks common sense over the dangers that fireworks pose for a very dry forest. Is Kristi crazy enough to take the Mount Rushmore Fireworks issue all the way to the United States Supreme Court? If we had an actual functioning Attorney General, he or she could put a kibosh on this nonsense.

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